The 10 best bird watching spots in Britain

Now the cold season has arrived, visit one of these top locations to see birds in spectacular numbers.

1. Caerlaverock Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT), Dumfries & Galloway.

Some 35,000 barnacle geese spend the winter on the Solway Firth, with many thousands of those at Caerlaverock, after spending their breeding season in Arctic Svalbard. www.wwt.org.uk

2. Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland.

Noted for offering a winter home to three-quarters of the world population of light-bellied brent geese, nearly 40,000 birds. Waders and wildfowl visit in huge numbers, too. www.strangfordlough.org

3. Budle Bay, Bamburgh.

Large numbers of overwintering greylag and pink-footed geese, plus wildfowl such as wigeon and teal. Stag Rocks (below the lighthouse) known for its wintering divers and grebes. www.naturalbornbirder.com

4. Fairburn Ings RSPB, West Yorkshire.

Autumn brings passage waders, while in winter you can watch goldeneye, smew and goosanders starting to pair up in preparation for the coming spring. www.rspb.org.uk

5. Dee Estuary – Parkgate RSPB.

Autumn is a good time to see passage migrants such as blacktailed godwits and greenshank and also sees the arrival of the first pink-footed geese. Winter brings birds of prey such as hen harriers, merlin and short-eared owls. www.rspb.org.uk

6. Snettisham RSPB, Norfolk.

Watch thousands of pink-foots leaving their night-time roost in The Wash any time from mid-November. www.rspb.org.uk

7. Shapwick Heath NNR, Somerset.

Best-known for its starling roost – mainly visitors from continental Europe – but also an excellent place to see gadwall, shovellers and tufted ducks. Adjacent reserves such as Ham Wall worth visiting, too. www.naturalengland.org.uk

8. Pagham Harbour, West Sussex.

A huge variety of birds, including large flocks of curlews, knot and bar-tailed godwits. www.rspb.org.uk

9. Dawlish Warren NNR, Devon.

An impressive variety and numbers of waders spend the winter on the Exe Estuary – everything from avocets and bar and blacktailed godwits to curlews, dunlin and knot. www.dawlishwarren.info

10. Stodmarsh NNR, Kent.

Great flocks of wildfowl, and a spectacular starling roost. A winter visit here could also be your best chance of seeing a bittern. www.naturalengland.org.uk

(Article source: Discover Wildlife)


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